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EMS – Less Engineering, More Ingenuity: the OCSD Experience

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The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) is one of over 30 publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) in the U.S. participating in pilot-testing the development of an environmental management system (EMS) for biosolids. An EMS for biosolids is a voluntary management system that goes beyond mandatory regulatory requirements that incorporates the opinions of stakeholders and includes third party verification of the program. Having an EMS helps POTWs improve biosolids management practices by incorporating a periodic review of staff's role in the quality of biosolids through clear and attainable goals and objectives. Because it is an open process, it is believed that a well-informed public will tend to support management decisions and support biosolids products and practices. The model program, which will roll out full scale in early 2002, is being developed by the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), which includes conference sponsor Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By that time, the NBP hopes to sponsor through their “Biosolids EMS Guidance Manual” a total of about 100 POTWs.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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